My second in my FAQ series, I’m going to continue with book recommendations. Last week I reviewed some great easy to read books that gently introduce an organic lifestyle overview to folks who are interested in learning more about living naturally.
This week, I’d like to list some of the parenting books that have helped us develop our particular parenting path. Craig and I both feel like we are here to support our children in any way possible. We feel very much like equals… our parenting style is one of connection to our children… we do not want anything to do with an authoritarian parenting style or one of intimidation.
It was hard to walk this path in the beginning… there is less support in our society for this parenting style… sleeping in a family bed, extended nursing, open communication and compromise, homeschooling… in a world full of rules and parenting strategies that encourage babies to cry it out, children to submit to parent’s demands, daycares being called “school” so that it feels easier to leave them behind, and boundaries boundaries boundaries everywhere… parenting with compassion and equality has felt like a risk at times.
At least, it used to… until we started seeing the fruits of our efforts. An now we enjoy the easy trusting sleep of a child that has been held constantly as a sleeping baby. The deep love between siblings who have never had to compete for anything. The natural respect our children have for our advice… I’ve never had to give more then a gentle word or a nod to have my kids listen to my requests… my children ask my advice on things because they really want to *know* what I think, and because they know I won’t force it on them if it does not resonate with their own heartsong.
I think in short, we’ve tried our best to raise our kids to find their own heartsong. Follow their own advice. Find their own *knowing*. It is a very peaceful and fun-filled world.
How did we get here? These books are some of my favorite reads, that supported us along the way:
1. Everyday Blessings, The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Kabat-Zim — great book that touches a little bit on everything… with the goal of parenting compassionately.
2. Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen, PhD (thanks Gigi!) Love this one… a GREAT reminder that the *work* of childhood is play, and that it is soooo important…. and why. A book to read over and over.
3. Natural Childhood, by John Tomson Just an old-fashioned overview on different natural parenting styles… an idea book of sorts.
4. Simplicity Parenting, by Kim Payne, M. Ed. Great for when all the *stuff* of our lives feels like too much… presents a good game plan for simplifying your child’s life, which in turn provides security and comfort for children in an often hectic world.
5. Buddhism for Mothers, by Sarah Napthali Honestly I don’t remember much about this book, having read it so long ago, except to know that I loved it!
6. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, by Meg Meeker (thanks Andrea!) No doubt a must read for all the fathers out there. A book my husband reads and re-reads every single year as Clara’s daddy… a book that remains important all through the tween and teen years and beyond…
There are a million other books that helped me develop our homeschooling style — what I like to call interest-led learning — and I’ll recommend those in my Homeschooling FAQ in a few weeks!
I’ve just ordered Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves as an Xmas present, anyone read that yet? Please feel free to add your favorites to the comments section for us all to enjoy… I’d love to find some new favorites! xoxo